We talked about this piece today in conference. I just checked with my source at the production company to see when the programme was being transmitted and found out that it won't be, as there was no footage.

Sean Langan, the guy who was kidnapped, is a great film maker and has done lots of good stuff from Iraq and Afghanistan. The best one was a Dispatches where he was refused permission to embed with the British Army and hitched a ride to what turned out to be a huge battle. Sean won best feature at the Rory Peck Awards last year for the piece, and was nominated for a BAFTA.



Perhaps we can talk tomorrow in conference about how television news and current affairs programmes deal with pictures of people, including combatants, that have been killed and wounded.

It is rare for footage of casualties, particularly of "our" troops to be broadcast.

Plenty of such
footage, however, comes through every day on the wires.

The question is, how much of the
reality of warfare should broadcasters show?

Take a look at this story, on Al Jazeera footage of captured American troops in 2003.

And this piece by Robert Fisk on beheading videos.

What about the long-running ban on photographing and filming the coffins of dead US troops arriving in America? It was very hard to get these pictures out.

Does the media presents a less than truthful story in other respects? What about the voluntary media blackout on Prince Harry's service in Afghanistan? Jon Snow thought it was wrong for news organisations to collude with the MOD and Buckingham Palace to keep Harry's presence in Afghanstan secret. Others agreed with Snow. And here is Jon Williams, world editor of BBC News, defending the blackout.

I know there was a "vigorous debate" (usually known as a row) within the BBC about whether the blackout was the right thing to do, with Hugh Sykes vigorously saying that it wasn't. Perhaps Tim can enlighten us further on what was said within the BBC.

Please google about to see what else you can dig up and we'll discuss what you find out tomorrow at conference.

This blog

and this from the New York Times




Yes, i've heard about this a few times, particularly the stuff about US soldiers coffins. It's almost like they're shielding this from the public to hide the fact that they/we arn't winning this war quite as convincingly as we made out we would. Keep it as distant as possible and people won't pay much attention that there are actual peoples kids dying over there.

Anyone who is against the war is probably considered unpatriotic by the US govt and all this encouragement to 'get behind the troops' is their only comeback. The people have to support a war they can't really see and if you're against the war, you're against the soldiers. I wonder how many of those kids support the war... better yet how many actually know fully why they're there in the first place. For many, the armed forces was their only option.

It's nice to see the victory scenes and little clips of 'our boys' in action but keeping the public oblivious to the ugly side of war is wrong, as i said before, peoples relatives are being killed, some say needlessly, some say not, but either way, everyone needs to see it.  

Sorry I went off on one a bit there. Liking the topic, i'll try and find some stuff for sure.

A piece from Eamon McCabe, the Guardian's picture editor, on how the paper uses pictures of the dead.

C4 pays ransom for journalist in Afghanistan